My first prenatal class! Breastfeeding Basics.

Yesterday morning I attended my first prenatal class, which was a "breastfeeding basics" class. I was so happy to be in a room full of other soon-to-be-mums! I went on my own since Ashton was too afraid to come. (Just kidding, he was actually working and had said that he wouldn't have an opportunity for "practical application" of the knowledge we would gain lol). He was kind of right though. Unless he wanted to learn how to help me massage the milk out for manual expression if the baby can't latch properly... Ha!

These are some of the useful facts and skills that I learned (even Ashton might find them interesting).

1. The Newborn Tummy!

At birth a baby's stomach is only he size of a cherry! So teeny! And it will take an entire month for her tummy to even be the size of an egg! This somewhat eases my worries that I might not be able to produce enough milk to breastfeed her.

2. Did you know? Differences between breastmilk and formula.
Compared to a formula fed baby, a breastfed baby...
...has softer stool.
...does not need to be burped as often and may not burp at all because they swallow less air (breast vs bottle).
...has a smaller stomach.
...requires a smaller feeding to get the same amount of nutrients.
...has an easier time digesting and, consequently, has fewer "fussy" periods.
...generally requires fewer medications and visits to the doctor.

3. Wet diapers and bowel movements.
Poop is poop, but I just like this chart because it gave me more of an idea of what to expect. The chart also included a column for color and texture of bowel movements, but I decided to leave that part out (as I'm sure you are all glad!). It is good to know though so I know what is normal and when to be concerned.

4. Interesting facts!
  • Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth and frequently thereafter helps babies breastfeed sooner and last longer, latch on well, cry less, soothe more easily and have lower stress hormones.
  • Frequent babywearing stimulates baby and promotes breastfeeding.
  • Babies actually LOSE weight after they are born, but should typically be back up to their birth weight by the time they are two weeks old.
  • Babies feed better when they feed on cue, rather than on a schedule. Cues include: hand to mouth movements, licking lips, rolling eyes, sucking movements and noises or sucking on hands or fingers.
  • The more milk your baby takes, the more milk your body makes!
I learned a ton more as well, but won't bore everyone with the details. Overall, the class made me much less anxious to breastfeed and I definitely gained some useful knowledge on how to properly latch and unlatch, how often to feed in a 24 hour period, how to encourage breastfeeding, how to know when baby has received enough milk, different positions for breastfeeding and burping, how to comfort baby when she cries, when to contact a lactation consultant or pediatrician, etc.

Honestly, it was such a useful class, I really recommend one to any new mum who is planning to breastfeed. Breastfeeding might not look or sound that hard to some people, but after sitting through the class I realized there really is a lot of skill involved--as well as patience and practice!

To any other women out there who are planning to breastfeed for the first time, good luck and don't give up. Our bodies were made for this!



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